A department of Johnson County government, the Johnson County Museum began as an all-volunteer organization in 1967. The original museum was housed in the former 1927 Greenwood School located in Shawnee, Kansas. The museum’s collections and facility grew over time and now include more than one million photographs, 15,000 3-D artifacts, and 3,000 cubic feet of archival material. Significant holdings include the Sun Newspapers photographic morgue from the mid-1980s-1990s, a bound set of Tom Leather's Squire publications from the early 1960s - 2000s, and material from the Sunflower Ammunition Plant near De Soto. The museum has also built a significant collection documenting the suburban experience in Johnson County. The museum offers long-term and changing exhibits, a speakers bureau, online resources for research, teacher training, school and public programming, summer camps, and special events. Each year, the museum serves 35,000 visitors onsite and nearly 100,000 people via its online resource materials available at www.JoCoHistory.org. The museum is guided by two boards: the Museum Advisory Council, appointed by the Johnson County Commission, and the Johnson County Museum Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization which raises private funds to support the museum's operation. A staff of six full-time and four part-time employees, with the help of over 50 community volunteers, oversees day-to-day museum operations.
The Main Museum features award-winning long-term and changing exhibitions as well as public and school education programs, the Museum is a great place to spend the day learning about our County’s history and having fun in the hands-on exhibit spaces.
Exhibits: KidScape | Seeking the Good Life and changing Temporary Exhibits
The All Electric House at the Museum:
Whether you're a child of the Fifties or just curious about lifestyles from this nostalgic era, The 1950s All-Electric House offers an eye-opening look at the technology of the times. Showcased inside were futuristic gadgetry like a hidden television, electric curtain opener, a garage door opener and "the year 'round air conditioner…known as the heat pump.
Originally constructed by Kansas City Power & Light electric company in 1954, this five-room ranch house captures why a home in the suburbs was part of the American dream after World War II. The model home was open for a period of six months as a model home in the bedroom suburb of Prairie Village. It was a must see for many -- over 62,000 people toured the home in 1954, a number equal to that of Johnson County’s entire population.
A family home for forty years, The 1950s All-Electric House is once again a model house open for today’s tourists. Step inside to discover this "house of the future!”
The Lanesfield Historic Site:
The site features the limestone Lanesfield School, a visitors center with exhibits and a museum store, and a covered picnic shelter. Adjacent to the site is a 79-acre prairie, owned by Kansas City Power and Light.
Built in 1869, the school is the only standing structure from Lanesfield, Kansas. The town served as a mail stop on the Santa Fe Trail, identified with a 1906 Daughters of the American Revolution marker. A 1858 pre-Civil War skirmish also took place in the area between Missouri Border Ruffians and Free-State Kansans, led by General James H. Lane, the town’s namesake.
Adjacent to the Lanesfield Historic Site is a short nature trail, owned by the Kansas City Power and Light Company. An observation tower provides a birds-eye view of the skirmish site between the Free-State Kansans and the Missouri Border Ruffians.